Date   

Lake Solano, Putah Creek

Denise and David Hamilton
 

Hi all,

It was a lovely day today at Lake Solano and along Putah Creek up to the dam on 128. Highlights- at Lake Solano Campground- a few Red-breasted Sapsuckers, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, one male Phainopepla, several pairs of Wood Ducks, numerous Buffleheads plus a few Common Goldeneyes and the usual suspects.

At mile marker .69 (wide spot in the road overlooking the creek) was a large mixed flock- mostly Buffleheads, and several Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, and 3 male and at least one female Barrow's Goldeneyes.

We dipped on the Dipper seen yesterday under the Highway 128 bridge.

Best birding,
Denise and David Hamilton
Napa


Muscovy Duck - Lincoln WTP

Chad Aakre <chadaakre@...>
 

Hello all,

I took a lunch spin through the west ponds and had a strange looking beasty show up in the southern most one. The presumed MUSCOVY was almost all dark (with irridescent green). The exceptions to this were a prominant white wing patch, red fleshy warty splotch from base of bill to eye (lore), diffuse white markings above and below the eye extending through the head and neck, and yellow-tipped bill. The bill was mostly dark. The bill shape was small, not shoveler like. I was able to snap some photos with a regular camera through the scope and with the built in zoom, but the results are pretty poor. I can email photos to anyone if they are interested.

I presume that the bird is an escapee from someones exotic bird collection or local farm or something, but figured I should post the sighting in case it is of interest to anyone. I was not able to observe the feet or legs to look for signs of captivity. The bird was preening actively and the wings did not appear to be clipped, however I did not observe the bird in flight. Crazy looking thing non-the-less.

There were also 3 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE'S at the ponds on the west side.

Other birds sighted today at the ponds were:

CANADA GOOSE
CANVASBACK
NORTHERN SHOVELER
BUFFLEHEAD
RUDDY DUCK
RING-NECKED DUCK
COMMON MERGANSER
MALLARD
RING-BILLED GULL
CALIFORNIA GULL
HERRING GULL
GREATER YELLOWLEGS
AMERICAN PIPIT
TURKEY VULTURE
AMERICAN KESTREL
RED-TAILED HAWK
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD
GREAT EGRET
SNOWY EGRET
KILLDEER
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

Adios,

Chad Aakre
Granite Bay
Placer County


Black Scoter Continues at O'Neill Forebay

Harold Reeve
 

The im. male Black Scoter at O'Neill Forebay in Merced County was present Sunday Morning. I found it east of the boat ramp (currently closed) at Medeiros State Recreation Area. Today it was even closer to Hwy. 33 than where Jeff Seay and others saw it yesterday, as it was only about 75 yds. offshore where the shore runs north/south about half-way between the boat ramp and Hwy. 33. I was scoping from the farthest south campsite along this north/south-running shore and in great light and little wind. The scoter was actively diving and was often difficult to refind. Handy that it has that brighter-than-Cal-Trans orange patch on its bill. I saw the bird 4-5 times for a total of only 3-4 minutes in 1.75 hr. of scoping, the first hour spent trying (hoping) to initially find the bird. The scoter is very dark overall but not jet black. It rides lower in the water than the numerous scaup, coots, and ruddies and kept its rounded head rather low as well. It
also has a bit of white in the face, particularly a small whitish spot just behind the base of the bill. The orange region on the bill is large and bright, but did not appear bulbous to me. Also in the area were a Horned Grebe and a first cycle Glaucous-winged Gull. I did not encounter the Long-tailed Duck.

Note that the parking fee at the SRA is $10.00.

Harold Reeve
Modesto


Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

CaliKat <naturesgrl@...>
 

My 11 year old and I spent some time at Gray Lodge today. Our first stop was at a rice field off Pennington Road where there were a good many Tundra Swans. Next sighting was of just a few Sandhill Cranes to the rice fields off the left of Almond Orchard (or is it Almond Blossom) Road.

Our favorite sightings at the wildlife area included many Eurasian Wigeons, some Eared Grebes, a Common Yellowthroat, a Bufflehead, a covey of California Quails, and a few Black-necked Stilts. We also had a good time watching the Bushtits.

Our favorite non-bird sighting was a raccoon making his way down the slough toward parking lot 18.

Good Birding,
Kathryn Sanderson
Olivehurst
Yuba County


"Harlan's" Hawk in Colusa Co. + Eurasian Wigeon @ Sac NWR

Dan Williams
 

This morning at about 9am I had my first EURASIAN WIGEON of the season at Sacramento NWR. It was a nice male just east of the tour loop and just a bit north of the main "Stop and Stretch" area. That having been said, there were about 10 BILLION pieces of waterfowl at the refuge this morning (as is customary between November and March). I was only there for an hour and managed to find one, so I'm sure there are probably a few to be found. The geese are already spectacular out there.

As I was heading for home this afternoon, a gorgeous adult HARLAN'S RED-TAIL flew low over Delevan Road just west of I-5 and landed at the top of a eucalyptus tree on private property. As it pulled up to land it flared its tail which was devoid of any red hue whatsoever (dingy white with a faded hint of a band toward the tip).

Dan Williams
Sacramento


Yolo Rough-legged Hawk returns

ADAMSON, Roger H.
 

Joan Humphrey and I birded a variety of Yolo Co this morning (Sun, Nov. 15) and reached just over 100 species. Best birds were a Peregrine Falcon east of Davis near the water treatment plant, a Rough-legged Hawk on Rd 103 about a half mile north of Rd 28H, a Dipper on Putah Creek and a Golden Crowned-Kinglet, the latter two seen from the Highway 128 bridge near Monticello Dam.



The Rough-legged Hawk is very near Davis and is where one has been seen the last several years.



Roger Adamson


O'neill Forebay Black Scoter and Long-tailed Duck

jeff67632003
 

Both the Black Scoter and Long-tailed Duck were still present at the O'neill Forebay this afternoon. They were both along the southern edge of the shore east of the Medieros area boat ramp and west of Highway 33. Thanks to the 2 birders (didn't catch their names) who pointed out the area where the scoter was.

I also saw a Bald Eagle and a Glaucous-winged Gull near the dam on the San Luis Creek side.

Jeff Seay
Fresno


Putah Creek

kuschmanfred
 

Bird life along the creek has been remarkably subdued for the past 2-3
weeks. A few Ruby-crowned Kinglets, an occasional Hermit Thrush, a few
Yellow-rumped Warblers, now and then a House and/or Bewick's wren,
small numbers of the usual sparrows, immature Sharp-shinned and
Cooper's hawks, the usual woodpeckers and nuthatches, fewer Wood Ducks
than in previous years at this time.
In my garden, 5-10 Anna's Hummingbirds keep fighting over the abundant
flowering salvias, American Goldfinches and the common winter sparrows
are mobbing the seed and thistle feeders where they are joined by
Spotted and California towhees, Mourning Doves, and occasional Western
Scrubjays, one of which recently fell victim to a Cooper's Hawk who
carried his prey under a spirea bush where now nothing is left of the
jay but a large pile of blue and gray feathers.
Given the slow pace of things, I was, therefore, pleased to run today
into somewhat less routine avian fare during my walk along the creek
and then through the adjoining prune orchards. While I could find
nothing out of the ordinary in the riparian woodland (and very few of
the ordinary birds) I happened upon a small group of feeding birds in
a huge heritage oak in front of one of my upstream neighbor's house.
There I found 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1
White-throated Sparrow posing on a fence post (FOS), 1 Orange-crowned
Warbler, 1 Oak Titmouse (uncommon around here), 2 Acorn Woodpeckers, 1
Nuttall's WP, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 2 White-breasted
Nuthatches. Returning through my neighbor's prune orchard I
encountered 20-30 Lark Sparrows, in addition to White-crowned and
Savannah sparrows, and 2 Loggerhead Shrikes, perhaps the same pair
that nested in this orchard during the summer.



Manfred Kusch
Davis/Winters
makusch@ucdavis.edu
707-678-1027


Bald Eagle, Fairfield

Alan Krakauer
 

From the amtrak capital corridor this morning, I saw an adult bald eagle perched on a tree near Fairfield. Not sure of the best way to describe the location, but there is a large seasonal pond in some grazed open space close to where Air Base Pkwy crosses the Capital Corridor tracks. This is a bit NE of Fairfield proper as far as I can tell.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Fairfield,+CA&sll=37.76108,-122.435589&sspn=0.135981,0.33474&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Fairfield,+Solano,+California&ll=38.274542,-121.991565&spn=0.00844,0.020921&t=h&z=16

While it might be going to far to call this a regular perch, I've seen eagles here repeatedly over the past couple of years.

Alan Krakauer, Richmond/Davis


Townsends' Solitare, Mokelumne Day Use Area, SJ. Co.

Frances Oliver
 

Today, Steve & Diane Rose went to the Mokelumne Day Use area looking for the Am. Dipper that has been there since 10/24/09. While looking for the dipper they found a TOWNSENDS' SOLITAIRE first!

From Diane: My eyes were glued to the water but Steve saw another bird which turned out the be a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE. I didn't see it at first and had a half hour of frantic looking. It was in the tall cottonwoods across the river from the green enclosure. We were standing slightly up river at the brown park bench on the river when we saw it.

Unless my records are wrong, this may only be the 3rd county record for SJ Co. The first Townsend's Solitaire was found by David Yee at Lodi Lake on 5/17/01. The next solitaire was seen in Lockeford by Celeste Pryor during our SJ Big Year on 12/14/01 and seen by many obs. until the 31.

If anyone else has other records, please let me know.

Congrats to Steve & Diane Rose, who seems to be doing more county birding than I.
Frances
Lodi, CA


Merced Co. - O'Neill Forebay BLACK SCOTER

Joe Parker
 

This morning, the BLACK SCOTER was still at the O'Neill Forebay in Merced Co. Bill Zachman, Jeanne Ridgely, Al DeMartini, John Luther and I all scanned and rescanned the flocks of birds. It was John with LuLu who finally spotted our quarry on the far side of a scaup flock off the boat ramp next to campsite #5. It was probably there in front of us all the time, but unless you can see the bill it is not obvious.
Once we found the bird, it was difficult to keep in view if it put its bill out of sight. It looks very much like a female scaup, and hung out with the scaups. Once we found it, we could see that even with its head tucked, it is a tad larger than the scaups and a bit darker.

Kathy Parker
Los Gatos


Continuing Black Scoter in Merced County

Jim Lomax <birds@...>
 

Here is an excerpt from my countybirders report. I never use other
forums but was advised that some of you may not get countybirders but
would want to know about this bird still in the central valley. So
here it is:

"I began scoping from the southeast shoreline
after entering the Medeiros area of O'Neill Forebay. This is located
just north of the junction of Hwy 152 and Hwy 33 off the west side of
Hwy 33. Specifically, I worked between picnic sites #5 near the boat
ramp and site #8 scanning thousands of ducks and coots. Most of the
ducks were both Scaup and Ruddy Ducks with a few Redheads, Ring-
necked, a Mallard, a Wigeon, several kinds of grebes, Horned, Eared,
Pied-bill, Western, and Clark's. A little after 10 AM, Kent Van Vuren
arrived and we worked in earnest for the next 4-5 hours all about the
south end of the Forebay east to west and back. During the course of
the day we saw one Red-breasted Merganser, one Common Loon, and one
Long-tailed Duck. Part of the problem were several high powered
manhood boats cruising just below the sound barrier and scattering
the birds every half hour or so. These people were allegedly fishing
and found it necessary to get back and forth about the Forebay at
warp speed. By early afternoon, we were getting tired and my left eye
was beginning to see dark duck shaped dots when I wasn't looking
through the scope.

But Kent saved the day. Suddenly around 2:30 PM, with his binoculars,
he saw a bright orange bill and called me. I did my own imitation of
warp speed getting over to where he was, which was between picnic
area #5 and Hwy 33 and up on the bluff somewhat. There, finally, was
the beautiful male BLACK SCOTER. It was easy to see why we couldn't
find it. It appears to be a first year male with still some mottled
dark brown plumage mixed in with the black and when it turns away
from you, it is impossible to tell whether it is one of the female
scaups or another duck. You almost have to be watching it with the
scope to keep track of it. With the naked eye, it will have to be
very close to shore to see it. If you go to look, look for that
orange bill. It's like a beacon, but you must be looking at the bird
and it must be sideways to you or facing you. And you should go since
most of us will probably be dead before another one shows up in
Merced. This might be the first county record (found yesterday by Ken
Schneider). It is also an opportunity for those keeping a central
valley list. Oh, and take plenty of friends."
Jim Lomax


Stockton CBC, December 20

Jim Rowoth
 

All,

Please mark your calendars, and consider yourselves invited to participate in the Stockton CBC on Sunday, December 20. Our count has been going continuously for over 40 years, and it is centered at the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 12. The count circle includes large swaths of the San Joaquin delta, vineyards, Lodi, the NW corner of Stockton, along with numerous city & county parks. Please contact me if you'd like to sign up, or if you need additional information. Hope to see you in the field!

Jim Rowoth
Stockton


Beal's Point, Folsom Lake

Ron <rpozzi@...>
 

November 11, 2009

Greetings Birders,

This morning at Folsom Lake (Beal's Point) there was a juvenile BALD EAGLE perched on some rocks along the shoreline.

Hiking along the water's edge towards the Granite Bay boat launch area I observed a total of 7 BONAPARTE'S GULLS loosely associated with a 50+ mixed gull flock. The gulls were occupying two small, nearshore island areas in Placer County.

Good Birding

Ron Pozzi
Granite Bay, CA


White Pelicans in West Sacramento

Ann <naburris@...>
 

This morning on my walk at least 40 White Pelicans flew directly over me. The location was the Clarksburg Branch Line Trail that runs north south beside the water retention pond on the north side of Lake Washington Blvd and Stonegate Dr. There were two pelicans in the water there but the others did not land while I was in the vicinity. I talked to another walker and she said that she had seen them around the same time yesterday.

Ann Burris
West Sacramento


Tundra Swans and Questions

CaliKat <naturesgrl@...>
 

The movement of Tundra Swans has become so common I likely won't report on them again. In the 15 minutes I was outside this morning between 6:45 and 7, I saw 6 flocks, all flying NW. The smallest flock had 5 and the largest had approximately 35. I have been seeing them every day but activity always increases before a rain. I wonder... do they ever fly in really large flocks like the Snow Geese or are these perhaps family units they fly in? Do we know why they so often fly not much higher than the tree line? I rarely see geese flying as low as a Tundra Swan.

Also this morning there were movements of flocks of geese flying NE but too high for identification.

Good Birding,
Kathryn Sanderson
Olivehurst
Yuba County


Merced Birds (and W.R.Bat?) 11-07-09

Matthew Dodder
 

All,

I led my Palo Alto Adult School birding group to Merced NWR on Saturday. Highlights included hundreds of Sandhill Cranes, Greater White-fronted, Ross's and Snow Geese. We found large numbers of White- faced Ibis as well, but no unusual Raptors other than a female Merlin at the newly-named Bittern trail (strange name considering there are no cattails to provide cover for the species...). A full report can be found at: http://www.birdguy.net/reports/paas_fall09.html

On a more curious note, we spotted an interesting Bat along the creek trail behind the restrooms. I know nothing about Bats, but this one was large, and remarkably bright reddish orange. My various mammal books make me think it might have been a Western Red Bat. Is this correct? Are these common?? Luckily, Sonny Mencher was able to get a photograph. If anyone can identify this beautiful little mammal, I'd be very grateful:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonnyjeff/4091418568/in/ set-72157622647454425/

Off line responses are probably best.

. . .

Matthew Dodder
http://www.birdguy.net


Chestnut-collared Longspurs in Colusa County

Dan Williams
 

At my job site this morning at about 7:00 I flushed a small flock of nine longspurs near the edge of a vernal swale in Colusa County off of Delevan Road near the town of Maxwell.

This was a relatively brief encounter as they flew off into the endless expanse of farm fields, but I could tell most of them had a good deal of white on the tail (but not nearly all white as in McCown's), and at least a couple of them had some black smudging on the belly, leading me to believe at least a good portion of the flock were CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPURS.

Once they got up into the cloudy dawn sky it was tough to discern anything about the rest of them except that all nine birds looked exactly the same (as in none of them were pipits or larks).

There were also three GOLDEN EAGLES, a FERRUGINOUS HAWK, a PRAIRIE and a PEREGRINE FALCON in this area today.

Dan Williams
Sacramento


Re: [CVBirds] adult Glaucous Gull at Yolo Landfill

Steve Hampton <shampton@...>
 

I mean Rd 28H.



Steve Hampton
________________
Resource Economist
Office of Spill Prevention and Response
California Dept of Fish and Game
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
-----------------------------------
(916) 323-4724 phone
(916) 324-8829 fax

"Steve Hampton" <shampton@ospr.dfg.ca.gov> 11/10/2009 11:03 AM >>>
Nov 10

A lot of gulls are in at the Yolo County Landfill, and some presumably remember the deli counter from last year. Most surprising was an adult GLAUCOUS GULL with all white primaries and still a mostly white head. From Rd 29H, the bird preferred the upper left (nw) area of the big pond, in and near the water. This is the earliest date for this species in Yolo; in fact, the first November record.

Also present were about 400 Herring Gulls and a few Gl-W and Thayer's Gulls (only one juv of each, but a few adults) and one apparent juv Gl-W x Herring. It seems like most of the Thayer's, esp first year birds, have yet to arrive.

Last week there was a Rock Wren at the red gate at the beginning of the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant driveway.

good birding,





Steve Hampton
________________
Resource Economist
Office of Spill Prevention and Response
California Dept of Fish and Game
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
-----------------------------------
(916) 323-4724 phone
(916) 324-8829 fax



------------------------------------

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adult Glaucous Gull at Yolo Landfill

Steve Hampton <shampton@...>
 

Nov 10

A lot of gulls are in at the Yolo County Landfill, and some presumably remember the deli counter from last year. Most surprising was an adult GLAUCOUS GULL with all white primaries and still a mostly white head. From Rd 29H, the bird preferred the upper left (nw) area of the big pond, in and near the water. This is the earliest date for this species in Yolo; in fact, the first November record.

Also present were about 400 Herring Gulls and a few Gl-W and Thayer's Gulls (only one juv of each, but a few adults) and one apparent juv Gl-W x Herring. It seems like most of the Thayer's, esp first year birds, have yet to arrive.

Last week there was a Rock Wren at the red gate at the beginning of the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant driveway.

good birding,





Steve Hampton
________________
Resource Economist
Office of Spill Prevention and Response
California Dept of Fish and Game
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
-----------------------------------
(916) 323-4724 phone
(916) 324-8829 fax

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